Top 5 ways a Diverse Workplace can Help Companies Thrive

Leading companies know that having a diverse workplace and culture is the key to boosting employee morale.

As the workforce demographics shift and global markets emerge, workplace diversity becomes harder to ignore. Companies are beginning to see its importance and are beginning to embrace it.

What you need to know about workplace diversity…

The word ‘diversity’ connotes different things. It could be age, gender, race, color or even culture.

A diverse workplace represents an inclusive company. It is important to the employers that employees feel like they make a significant contribution to the organization using their unique qualities.

If organizations want to improve their competitive advantage, they must learn to manage a diverse workforce.

A diverse organization creates a positive image for businesses as it shows inclusivity and equal employment opportunities. 

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Here are 5 benefits of workplace diversity…Read more Click To Tweet

1. Increased exposure

A highly diversified workplace comprises of people from different culture and backgrounds.

This gives room for increased exposure as employees learn from each other.

2. Innovation

Inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market. You can never run out of ideas when you have a diverse team.

Why? This is b Juditecause they all bring something to the table. Having different cultural backgrounds means the way they think differ; the beliefs that shape their thoughts are not the same.

This vast difference, even between gender breeds innovation.

Creative concepts are born out of each one offering a solution or suggestion. People from different backgrounds have different experiences and perspectives. This leads to creativity. 

3. Grows the organization’s talent pool

Embracing diversity means you’ll attract a large number of candidates from all walks of life. These are people well versed in different diverse skills set and knowledge.

As the number of candidates increases, the chances of finding a suitable candidate will increase too.

4. Employee retention

Who doesn’t want to work for a company that embraces diversity? They don’t discriminate but accept employees from all backgrounds. In the long run, this promotes quality and boosts the morale of the employee.

5. Employee performance

The chances of being happy in an environment that is open and inclusive are higher than one which isn’t.

Employees are more likely to feel comfortable, happy and safe in an organization that embraces diversity. This boosts the confidence of the employee as they feel confident in putting their best.

The higher your employee’s morale, the more productive he or she is.

Organizations who have a range of employees enjoy the benefits of having a broad skill set and experience. All of these gives the company an advantage over others. 

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8 Great Ways For Bosses To Treat Employees Better

Everyone wants to be treated well. This is most especially at work – all employers want to have great treatment from their bosses. Nobody wants to be treated as though they are not human. Toxic environments as a result of disorganized hierarchies and office politics make it hard for employees to be productive. 

Therefore, to ensure your employees don’t quite faster than you hired them, you need to make sure that you treat them well. Here are 8 great ways to treat your employees better and make them feel dignified. 

Hire people that are hardworking, have a positive attitude, that will bring positive vibes to your organization Click To Tweet

1. Hire and fire employees on attitude, not ability

We all know that there is no remedy for a bad attitude. No matter how much you invest in training people to change their attitude, it will most likely not happen.

What is worse, is that a bad attitude is contagious. Though it will start with one person, a bad attitude will soon spread throughout your company.

To ensure your company culture remains positive, you start at the beginning. This means hiring people who have great, hardworking and positive attitudes that will bring positive vibes.

2. Treat them as if they are better than you

No one is an island of knowledge. We all learn new things from babies, toddlers, little children, beggars and even from animals! With each new person you meet or each new experience, you get an opportunity to learn something new.

So, treat your employees with the same curiosity and respect that you had towards your teachers. Even if they criticize you, do not be defensive and wield your ‘super boss power’.

Take a step back and really listen to their feedback. If an employee is brave enough to speak up, its because they care about you and your business.

3. Discourage gossip about anyone

Though gossip may start with one person, it can become very dangerous. The first thing is when you spread gossip, the person you are talking to may begin to have a negative perception of your personality.

Once they develop this perception, it may be very hard for them to trust you again with information.

Therefore, to ensure that your employees are the most productive, try to discourage a spirit of gossip in the company. Instead of discussing people’s weaknesses behind their backs, train your employees to have open and safe feedback sessions.

4. Show them what it means to establish a business

How do you do this? Expose your employees to the tough decisions, choices, and situations they need to experience to start their own businesses. Give them a sense of ownership and responsibility.

Guide them to see the importance of adding value to their work and the people around them. Be a source of inspiration and role model for them to look up to. While they might leave you eventually, they will always look back and appreciate you for all you’ve taught and done for them. 

Please treat your employees like you would please a client Click To Tweet

5. Surprise them

Who doesn’t like surprises? Please treat your employees like you would please a client. Surprises can range from monetary gifts to even offering afternoon offs. As they say, it is the thought and effort that matters when it comes to surprises.

Remember, your employees are there to not only increase your wealth but to also help you build on your dreams. Therefore, it is important to show them appreciation and ultimately support them on their journey’s to becoming successful.

6. Teach them how to sell

Your employees need to know how to market products or services even if they’re introverts and aren’t too keen on talking to potential clients. Introverts are most times deemed as trustworthy and professionals by clients/ therefore, bring them to your meetings.

You’ll be amazed at how they listen best and ask more questions. All these are qualities to look out for in the best salespeople.

7. Show them respect

If there is another thing that everyone wants, is to be treated with respect. Respect not only makes employees happy, but it also helps you avoid unnecessary disrespect. Treating your employees with respect begins with common courtesy, politeness, and kindness.

It then progresses towards encouraging them to express their opinions and ideas. While doing so, they should not feel underestimated or insulted because of what they say. Building on this, you can even use and credit these opinions and ideas expressed.

It is also important to be equal and fair in the treatment of your employees. Though they may fail sometimes, do not constantly criticize everything they do. Instead, try and give everyone an equal opportunity to express their ideas irrespective of their characteristics.

8. Picture every employee calling their mother at night

When we were little, our mothers used to ask us how our days were at night. Now imagine if your employees would be called by their mothers and asked: “how was your day at work?” You would, of course, want them to give a genuinely positive response. 

Try to make sure that every day you positively challenge and strengthen your employees. If you treat your employees well, then you can rest knowing their mothers are wishing you well.

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How to mission travel

The best trips are those that are the most demanding, socially and professionally! Click To Tweet

I am sitting in the middle seat of an empty row (great when you need to catch up on some sleep), and we are a few hours away from final destination: Dakar, Senegal.

Since July last year, my world has been turned upside down in ways I never thought possible. I exited two years of post-bachelor unemployment (forcing myself to confront my aggravated social anxiety) to join an agency where I am in the air for what feels like 3 weeks every month.

Though it has been exciting to discover everything business travel has taught me, oh boy has it been tricky and downright scary sometimes. It’s that fear of the unknown I suppose. I cannot tell you if it will ever leave me. But I don’t intend on wasting these travel opportunities by focusing on my fears.

So I have mapped out a way in which I could be better prepared for mission travel, therefore less stressed, and more likely to take in as much as I can from these travels.

If you are interested, and especially if you will be going on your first travel missions soon, I hope you stick around and enjoy the read.

Step 1: The pre-travel prep

In the week preceding your travels, take some time to research not only your final destination but also the countries in which you will be transiting. Make sure you have the travel and transit durations right (those can get so confusing, I mean is it just me?).

Check the weather, the currency used in these countries and the predominant culture/religion for acceptable dress codes. You may want to calculate how much money you will need for the time you are away and take the appropriate amount of money beforehand; carrying dollars is very often the most appropriate. If you are not carrying cash, check for available banks and ATMs where you will be landing.

Let me give you an illustration of what went wrong when I didn’t research my travel destinations. Last month, I embarked on a trip to Abidjan via Addis Ababa. I was so excited because after my mission I would be discovering Abidjan with some friends who have their parents there.

All I could think of was the heat of Côte d’Ivoire and I imagined myself lying on the beach, sunnies on and all. I didn’t bother to check the weather in Addis where I would be spending the night and let’s just say, it was a pretty cold and uncomfortable night.

The same goes with transit durations. I once confused an overnight layover for one that would only last a few hours. I encountered a lot of stress finding a hotel to spend the night in, and I thank the heavens I hadn’t given in to the temptation of spending all my remaining cash.

Step 2: Pack appropriately and as lightly as you can

This is where, till today, I binge watch “how to pack lightly” YouTube videos like they’re going out of style. Yesterday I think I hit the mark when an airport officer remarked: “Your suitcase is so light for a lady, you always feel the need to pack everything.”

Needless to say that as a compulsive over-packer, I felt great. In all seriousness, it is important not to pack too heavily. If you pack light, you lose fewer things and you move faster.

Packing light, however, doesn’t mean you leave the things you do need behind. Other than clothing, make sure you pack all professional material relating to your mission travel, and then you’re good to go!

Learn how to pack like a pro here!

Step 3: Keep your eyes on the prize

So you’ve made it to your destination. Now what? If you are traveling alone, contact your boss or supervisor and make sure they know you’ve arrived safely and are ready to get moving. This serves two purposes,

1. Someone from your organization will know where you are and can assist with any urgent queries.
2. By calling when you get to your destination you can find out as soon as possible what you need to do and how you can get ahead on certain tasks.

Mission travel is often very short and we can use all the time we have.

How do you ace travelling for work when you have social anxiety? Read this! Click To Tweet

Step 4: Take care of yourself

Indeed, mission travel can be pretty fast pace. So remember to take care of yourself whenever you have the time. During travel, we often end up in surroundings we are not used to with people that may have completely different cultures than ours.

The change in scenery can be exhausting all on its own. So take some time out for you. Call your friends or a family member -yes, even if you’re only going to be away for 4 days- wake up a little earlier for some prayer or meditation time, or get to bed earlier if you can.

Step 5: Take in the travel and loosen up!

I recently read “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown from which a sentence struck out to me. I turned into an everyday prayer, and I am paraphrasing here, but it goes a little something like this; “let me have the courage to show up and let myself be seen”.

All this to say that you should expect that despite the stress of the travels, your colleagues are going to be a lot more relaxed, and it’s an opportunity to show your personality and get to know on a deeper level those with whom you work.

Travelling for work is a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues on a deeper level Click To Tweet

You’re going to get some FOMO too, sometimes you’re going to get an entire afternoon to yourself after work to visit your surroundings and sometimes you’re going to touch down and be on the next available flight in a matter of hours. Embrace it all and do what is possible.

As I finish off this article, I reflect on a week in Dakar, in which I was nervous to mix business and pleasure (I have a bestie in Dakar and I knew it wasn’t going to be just business)! But a lot of the time, the best trips are those that are the most demanding, socially and professionally!

With these words, I will leave you. Until next time.

5 things to do to get the corner office

Working your way up the corporate ladder? Take a look at how to get there with ease! Click To Tweet

After reading the book, “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office 101” by Lois P. Frankel, I felt it was only best to share some of the best tips that I learnt from this book! The book offers a bunch of no-no’s that we tend to overlook but actually, play a huge role in our professional careers.

As Black women, it is already an uphill battle as it is! We all know the steps we need to take to be successful, but how about we look at it from a different angle? Let’s take a look at what a Motherland Mogul should NOT be doing in order to reach the top.

1. Asking permission

It should be clear to people from the get go that you do not need approval from anybody! Go after what you want and be confident. If you are asking for permission, especially for simple things, you downplay the position you are in to make decisions.

Instead of asking your boss, “May I work from home today?” rather say, “I will be working from home today, I will be available via email or cell”. This shows that it is important for your boss to be informed, yet you can make your own decisions when it comes to yourself and your work.

2. Needing to be liked

Everybody wants to be liked and it can play a huge role in your success but, you have to strike a balance. If you are overly concerned with being liked, that means you are easily swayed by stronger personalities.

I was thrown into an industry I knew nothing about. I knew I was capable of doing the job, but I felt I needed to be liked because it was my first time at the rodeo. I became a “yes” woman and ended up doing other people’s work. I learnt that I need to stand my ground – new or not.

Not having a backbone meant that nobody was giving the respect I deserved, but at the same time, I was not showing anybody that I deserved it because I wanted to be liked so badly!

Click here to see what you should NOT be doing to reach success in the office. Click To Tweet

3. Holding your tongue

Society has been conditioned to believe that if a woman is being assertive, she is being a bitch and many women do not speak up as a result. This happens not only at work but in our personal spaces too.

A friend of mine told me about a superior who shoots down all her ideas, yet uses them as his own in important meetings to take all the credit. She let this happen for a while, but this made her realize that her boss is only stunting her growth in the long run. My friend kept all her ideas to herself until it was time to brainstorm in a meeting.

She received some great feedback and because of all the great work she put in over time, she was promoted. This also allowed her to gain the respect of her superior, keeping him from stealing any of her ideas! It is ok to disagree, and being assertive means people will respect you, not walk all over you.

4. Minimizing your work or position

Women tend to downplay their positions at work. Often you will hear, “Oh, I’m just a secretary, nothing special”. This is wrong! Whether you are a secretary or manager, each position plays a role in the growth of the company you work for.

My new transition into the finance industry was not the easiest as I learnt about everything from scratch. This made me downplay my role when people asked “what do you do?”, I just wanted to avoid the topic completely because I was ashamed of the fact that I was not in the field that I worked hard and studied for.

People did not take my expertise seriously because of this. I taught myself to snap out of that habit and acknowledge the fact that I am amazing at what I do and I should be proud of it. If you act like your job is not serious, then people will not take you seriously.

Check out how these office faux pas can stop a #MotherlandMogul from getting that corner office. Click To Tweet

5. Failing to define your brand

Personal branding is all the rage, and for good reason! Ask yourself how you want people to see you, what your expertise is and what you want to be known for.

You may be working in finance, but ultimately you want to be a writer. What are you doing to make sure that people know you as a writer? What are you bringing to the table to make sure your expertise is communicated well?

Ask yourself these questions. A lot of people make you feel like you should be following one path. But as a Motherland Mogul, it’s ok to be a jack of all trades or take on many interests. Show people what you got and you’re well on your way to success.

10 things nobody tells you when you’re a new manager

I thought I was ready when I took on my first ‘official’ management role as a performance manager. I had technical ability (I’d undertaken a good deal of additional, unpaid supervisory work, under the guise of ‘development opportunities’ prior to that) and I had a professional attitude so I thought I was good to go.

Ha! Boy, did I get that wrong. The main difficulty was that I didn’t know the difference between leadership and management.

If you’re a new manager, some of the lessons that I and countless other leaders have learnt (and I’ll be learning as long as I’m still here) will, hopefully, help you to transition into a management and leadership role in a more authentic way.

Prioritise being the leader your team needs, rather than doing everything perfectly

Chances are you’re a conscientious woman with high standards so you don’t need to stress about being seen to be doing a good job; that’s a given. It’s better to work out what your team needs from you than to focus on ticking every box.

Spend time with your new colleagues, get to know them and find out what they need most from you, whilst you learn more about the role.

If change is needed, find a way of working that works for you and your team

You’ll need to develop the confidence to challenge the status quo, which takes guts, especially if you’re managing a group of people you only just met, or you’re new to the organisation.

Overstand your values

Yes, I said overstand. It’s one thing to be aware of your own values; it’s quite another to understand how your values serve you and influence the way in which you lead. The best leaders have a high level of self-awareness.

Check out this article for more on understanding your values. If you’re not already, spend time getting get clear on your values.

Start reflecting

There will be days when you feel more like an infant school teacher than a manager and there’ll be days when you feel on top of the world because things are going so well. Spend time reflecting on your day or week and ask yourself what you did that was good and should be repeated and what wasn’t so good.

How can you do things differently next time? Reflecting like this helps to improve your practice as a leader and is a pretty good de-stresser, too!

Don’t try to switch up your persona

Pretending to be someone you’re not is hard work and tiring. If you’re not a suit kinda person, don’t go for a power suit, just because you’re now in a leadership role.

If you’re a soft-natured person, don’t try to come across as hard-nosed. People will see straight through you and inconsistencies in the way you treat and lead will cause others to doubt your credibility. Do you, boo.

Don’t be afraid to be a bit vulnerable

Exercise wisdom, of course (this ain’t therapy!) but being honest about things you’re not sure of can help your new team to connect with you as another human being and see you as more than just ‘the new boss.’

If they can see that you’re ok with your imperfections and limitations, they can relate to you and come alongside you far quicker. It’s also freeing for you to release the pressure that striving for perfection creates.

Just because you’re the manager, doesn’t mean that you should, or will have, all the answers

It’s not your job to know everything, it’s your job to facilitate your team in coming up with solutions and support staff so that they can do their job.

You will make mistakes

Get comfortable with the fact that things won’t always go to plan and that’s ok. You’ll learn for the next time.

Being liked as a manager is underrated

Yes, it’s true that staff need to respect you but being respected and being liked don’t have to be mutually exclusive. It’s a lot easier and more enjoyable for everyone when you’re likeable.

Boy, is leadership great for your growth!

Try not to compartmentalise your learning. Growth is growth so be intentional in transferring the development in your professional life to your personal development.

A year from now, you’ll have grown immensely through your experiences so soak it up, my dear!

What’s your experience been? What do you wish you’d been told earlier on? Let me know in the comments below.